A crash of pins in the next alley caught Hank's attention. "Clancy's have started already ... ," he turned and looked at me, "... where the heck is Bill?"
I shrugged. "Don't know ... he's usually the one griping about other people being late."
"I think he's meeting with some people," said Eb, "trying to get them to invest in his new business."
I looked at Eb. "What?"
"Actually, I was surprised you weren't with him, Chris," said Eb.
"I don't know anything about it," I answered.
"You mean he didn't try to get you to invest?" asked Eb.
"Well, he mentioned something about a business venture ... but he knows I don't have any money ... why? Did he ask you, Eb?"
Eb shook his head yes. "He sure did ... I was going to, too ... but Becky wasn't keen on it, so I had to tell him 'no'."
I looked at Hank. "What about you?"
Hank nodded. "Yeah ... he approached me about some kind of real estate deal he's involved in ... but when he said that Mike Burczyk was involved, I begged off."
I looked at D'Angelo's team, four alley's over. Three of them were sitting there, looking anxiously at the clock. "I see he's late, too."
Hank looked over at D'Angelo's. "You mean Burczyk?"
I nodded. "Yeah ... I'll bet he and Billy are together."
"Here they come," said Eb.
I looked at the back isle and saw Uncle Billy and Mike Burczyk making they're way toward us. They were talking and grinning. When they reached our alley, Billy patted Burczyk on the back and said, "Well, get ready for a shellacking tonight ... I feel hot."
Burczyk smiled and said, "We'll see." Then he continued on toward D'Angelo's.
"You're late, Uncle," I said as Billy sat down to change his shoes.
"Had business to attend to, boy," he said.
"You and Burczck?" asked Hank.
"You mean my business partner?"
"How come you're chummy with the competition?" asked Eb.
Billy laced up his shoes. "We're only competitors on the hard wood." He paused to look over at D'Angelo's and waved at Burczyk. Then he continued with his shoes.
"What do you know about that guy?" asked Hank.
"I know he's got a good idea ... which is a whole lot more than any of you have."
"Do you really trust him," I asked.
Billy finished lacing up his shoes and put his hands on his thighs. "Do you think I'd get in business with someone who isn't on the up and up?"
"We're just concerned, Bill," said Hank.
"Well, just concern yourself with knocking down some pins, Hank. I'd like to see this team get out of the basement for a change."